Explore the Immaculate Conception through art in video series on faith and beauty

Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, is kicking off a new video series today on art and faith with a video celebrating today’s solemnity, the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception.

The video series, titled “Sacred Image,” is produced by the college’s Center for Beauty & Culture and explores the ways God communicates with us through great works of art.

The first video of the series features Denis McNamara, executive director of the Center for Beauty & Culture and a professor at Benedictine College. In the video, McNamara, who spent two decades at Mundelein Seminary, where he taught at the Liturgical Institute, explains how we can come to a greater understanding of the solemnity through an examination of Francisco de Zurbarán’s painting “The Immaculate Conception” (1628–1630).

he painting is featured in the new book “Solemnities: Celebrating a Tapestry of Divine Beauty,” published by Ascension and co-authored by McNamara and two other experts from the Liturgical Institute, Christopher Carstens and Alexis Kutarna.

The book delves into the theology, history, and cultural significance of each of the Catholic Church’s 17 solemnities through the lens of a great work of sacred art. The next video in the series, to be released Dec. 19, will focus on the solemnity of the Nativity of Our Lord through an exploration of the painting featured in the “Solemnities” book, “The Mystic Nativity,” by Sandro Botticelli (1500).